Riverhead Town Board votes to compensate Judge Lori Hulse for pulling double duty

The Riverhead Town Board on Tuesday voted to temporarily increase the pay of Town Justice Lori Hulse by 50% of her current salary prorated to the additional period she had served as she continues to cover the caseload of the late Judge Allen Smith.

The raise is retroactive to July 25 and will run through Nov. 4.

Ms. Hulse’s current annual salary is $84,571, according to town records. The increase will pay her $11,700 in addition to her regular pay.

The Town Court normally has two judges handling alternating weeks, but since the July 25 death of Judge Smith, Ms. Hulse has handled the duties of both justices. It amounts to just over 100 days of her covering all responsibilities of the court.

The Town Board unanimously approved the arrangement Tuesday. 

A special election is being held Nov. 3, along with the presidential election, with former supervisor Sean Walter running on the Republican ticket and attorney Joseph DiBenedetto on the Democratic line.

Judge Smith had served on the bench since 2000. Judge Hulse was first elected in 2015.